An episode that doesn’t feature the Doctor at all, or any of his companions. ‘Mission to the Unknown’ (aka Dalek Cutaway) instead focuses on three human astronauts who all end up dead by the end of the episode, but not before uncovering a Dalek invasion plan.
As I understand it, this was intended as a teaser for the 12-part Dalek epic that’s coming up, and I thought it was quite effective. Unfortunately, no video material exists, but from the photos at least you could tell the scenery, ship and costumes looked quite convincing and the story was pretty bleak.
It’s spoiled somewhat by the council of one-dimensional alien villains explaining their plan to invade Earth, and in the mixing up of space terms, confusing galaxies with solar systems and so on. Being made in the 60s is no excuse for poor research.
The Daleks are made out to be a serious threat here, with their empire stretching out across space, but if I’m being picky, shouldn’t that mean the Doctor would have known about them when he first arrived on Skaro in the future? I guess that’s time travel for you.